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A new Italian retailer has just launched, Design Wine, with the aim of offering British consumers relatively unknown Italian producers. “Currently, over 60% of the wines so loved in Italy, and offered by DesignWine, are not readily available to British consumers and would never leave the Italian border without this model. They offer an evolving collection of over 100 wines which are updated on a weekly basis and are grouped in ‘selections’ or can be bought in sets of three or six bottles. The website has an online sommelier support to guide visitors through the numerous regions, types and prices – a specific detail which most online wine distribution companies are lacking – which can help to find a selection of wines to match with certain foods and to suit your occasion or budget”.

While new wine start-ups have to be applauded in the current economic conditions one has to be careful, especially in the ‘fine wine world’. Jim Budd has for ages written and blogged about scams, con-artists and the like. Currently there are issues with 1855.com; well documented on Jim’s Loire.

Spittoon has long had a presence in the Cision top 10 Wine Blogs. It’s always nice to be placed highly in such things, regardless of their actually value. They have added another ranking listing Top 10 Wine Blogs on Twitter – those with the loudest voices rank the highest. Yep, referring to you Denise. ;-)
Some recognition is always pleasurable form ones Peers; not that I’ve ever received much (ie nothing!) in the way of ‘awards’ or such like – the Louis Roderer awards, Born Digital Awards and so on. They always seem to be dominated by the old school, well established, journalists. Without a book deal, magazine or newspaper column you just don’t get a look in.

Great comments on this on Juel’s Wine Woman Song blog.

Rather enjoying the wine write-ups on Quaffable recently. The Seven Springs Sauvignon Blanc, who have hit the social networking world running, is the latest recommendation. Others too have given it the once over – my good friend Tara over at Wine Passionista for example and my take…
Mixed reactions to the Setanta range over on The Tasting Note; I’m a sucker for standout label and this range does seem to be clad in some finely printed paper, although it’s a touch difficult to tell from the photo. No mention of stockists sadly…

There was some sort of international Pinot Day this week. Didn’t hear anything about it until Thirst For Wine’s blog post on Pinot Smack Down… as far as I can tell no one else in the UK participated. Perhaps International Tempranillo Day on the 1st September will garner more interest?
Something else for the diary is a Chapel Down and Oyster pop-up bar in Sloane Square over three days in September (Friday 16th 11am-7:30pm, Saturday 17th 12pm – 7:30pm, Sunday 18th 12pm – 5pm). You wont see me there. Can’t stand oysters. Nasty little blighters.

The opening photo is of a wine trade fair in Oporto I had the pleasure of visiting earlier this year. The old hall it was hosted in was magnificant. While I’ve yet to pen a write-up of this particular stop in the trip the other vineyard visits have been condensed into an article on ViaMichelin – The Wines of Dao and Bairrada – go over and have a read!

Essencia do Vinho, Porto, Portugal

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